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Law Change Allows Students To Carry Medication

March 18, 2010, 6:08 PM by Courtney Zieller

Law Change Allows Students To Carry Medication
SIOUX FALLS, SD - People with asthma know how difficult it can be to breathe at times. Getting medication during an attack can be a matter of life and death.

South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds has signed a bill making that easier for students with asthma.

Third grader Jordan Rentschler has suffered from asthma since he was three years old.

"Kind of really hard because you don't get to do as much stuff as everybody else and you get really tired easily," Jordan said.

After changing medications, his asthma is under control. But that still requires him to use an inhaler twice a day.

"It just really helps me and it's really easy to take," Jordan said.

Students need to take their asthma medication more often. And right now, South Dakota students are only allowed to keep medications with the school nurse or office. But that's going to change. Governor Mike Rounds has signed a bill allowing students to carry those medications with them.

"It's really important for kids that really struggle with their asthma and which is not under control. They may need inhalers a lot quicker and a lot more at their disposal versus having to run down to the nurses office or secretary's office and try to find those," mom Annette Rentschler said.

The bill doesn't go into effect until July 1, so until then Christ the King School keeps student inhalers inside an office drawer.

Next school year, Jordan and others will be able to keep them with them at all times.  Jordan's mom and the school's volunteer nurse are glad the state finally got on board.

"We are the 50th state to put this into action," Annette said. "Just knowing that a child will be able to have it in their backpack or coat pocket and knows right where it's at."

A simple gesture that's comforting for a mom and her son.

"Won't have to struggle running down a long hallway or throughout an entire school or a across a playground to get relief," Annette said.

"I think it's awesome because it's a shorter distance and it will be easier," Jordan said.

Under the law, the medications will have to be labeled with the student's name.

The bill also includes students who carry an Epi Pen.

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